The Exciting World of Printmaking

If you are interested in pursuing an art degree, you may be aware of the field of printmaking. The basic idea behind printmaking is transmitting artwork from one surface to another. It encompasses a lot of different well-known techniques such as etching. If you enroll at an established printmaking university, you can prepare yourself well for a creative career. The four main categories of printmaking techniques are a relief, intaglio, serigraphy, and planographic.

Relief Printmaking

Relief printing involves using a block, or plate, with the artwork carved onto the surface as a “stamp” to recreate the artwork on another surface such as paper, using ink. Woodcut and linocut are types of relief printing.

Intaglio Printmaking

This is a large family of techniques that work opposite to relief techniques; the ink is held in the grooves of the flat plate, and not the flat surface. Methods in this group include etching, drypoint, mezzotint, and aquatint.

Serigraphy Printmaking

Serigraphy, or silk screening, involves forcing ink through a screen that contains blocked off areas, or a stencil. Images are created when the screen is placed on paper, and the ink is spread across the screen.

Planography Printmaking

Planographic techniques involve printing from a flat surface, as opposed to a raised or carved out the surface as in relief and intaglio printing respectively. Lithography is such a technique, and it relies on the immiscibility of oil and water to create prints.

There are many benefits of learning about this area of art from a printmaking university. In addition to learning the history and theory of printmaking, students can create unique art pieces, visit exhibitions, learn from accomplished faculty, and get inspired by visiting artists.

If you are looking for a printmaking university, get in touch with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Visit them online at

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